Food safety violations found at restaurant that announced it was temporarily closing
Due to safety issues, yes, but mostly because they just taste terrible reheated.
On Tuesday, Riccelli's Italian Restaurant posted on its Facebook page it was closing until further notice. A recent food safety inspection from the Department of Inspections and Appeals found several repeat violations.
Riccelli's, 3803 Indianola Road in Des Moines, was inspected on March 14. Since July 2016, Riccelli's has had nine routine, recheck and follow-up inspections.
Inspectors found the following repeat violations on March 14:
- Food equipment and utensils from previous dinner service (Sunday, March 10) had not been cleaned or sanitized and were stored soiled at the dish machine and 3-compartment sink. A soiled pan filled with what appeared to be leftover food product from the last operation day was found at the cook-line. The establishment operates from Thursday through Sunday.
- The walk-in-cooler did not appear to be working properly to maintain temperatures of 41 degrees Fahrenheit and/or below. Blocks of butter were being kept at 48 degrees, bags of lettuce at 48 degrees, raw ground meats at 46, what appeared to be a cooked meat product at 47, and whole tomatoes at 47 degrees — all stored in the walk-in cooler. The establishment agreed to voluntarily discard all perishable food items from the walk-in-cooler during the time of inspection.
- A used cigarette was spotted inside a soiled pot at the dish room.
Multiple attempts to reach Riccelli's management since Tuesday were unsuccessful.
On August 21, 2017, the following repeat violation was found:
- The mechanical slicer was visibly soiled. The violation was corrected as the slicer was washed/rinsed/sanitized at time of inspection.
During this inspection, it was noted that unapproved pesticide was being used (Raid and industrial/commercial). The label for the industrial/commercial pesticide stated it is approved for use in dairies, milk rooms, hog barns and animal quarters, as well as outdoor areas, and for use on beef cattle, dairy cattle, horses, hogs, chickens and other livestock. The violation was corrected as the pesticides were removed from the premises at the time of inspection.
An inspection on July 12, 2017, found violations that included moldy, ready-to-eat products in the walk-in cooler and thawing foods on the counter that had been there for over three hours. Raw chicken was found sitting over raw beef on the counter top. The mechanical slicer was found to be heavily soiled. The owner corrected violations by voluntarily discarding products at the time of inspection.
The inspector noted upon this visit that based on the nature of the violations and condition of the kitchen, he could not say whether there had been any demonstration of food safety knowledge.
In July 2016, an inspection reported the deli slicer had food residue build-up under the blade of the slicer. The person in charge instructed the employee to clean and sanitize the slicer.
Other violations from 2016 include handling food with bare hands, improper storage of raw and prepared food products and insufficient washing of hands and hand-washing supplies.
Riccelli's has stated on its Facebook page that it intends to reopen in the near future.